Still angry that your parents made you eat vegetables, drink milk, and go to bed early as a kid? We get it — we have parents too.
This Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, if you’d prefer to penalize your parents all over again rather than show them how much you care, we’ve compiled a list of terrible gift ideas to make your shopping easy! And if you’re in the camp that can’t go a day without talking to your parents (like us), we’ve got you covered with a separate gift list to repay them for their love and support.
Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Gift Ideas
These gifts will compromise your parents’ privacy, annoy them and even clutter their kitchen!
- Password Journal
Though its floral cover will appeal to your parents’ sophisticated design sensibility and even trick them into thinking this is a thoughtful gift, this journal is sure to promise your parents hours of angst. They’ll curse you and technology as they’re forced to look up usernames and passwords and change them now and again. When they forget to note their password updates in this journal, they’ll go mad mistyping and retyping their online credentials. This little black book also doubles as a jackpot for anyone wanting to steal your parents’ identity or con them. Though Target promises the journal will serve as “a timely and valuable resource in the ‘Age of the Hacker,’” everyone knows that having a book like this will actually compromise your parents’ safety and financial security.
- Onavo VPN
With this app, your parents will think that they’re protecting their online privacy and keeping personal information safe on public networks, but they’ll actually be giving Facebook exhaustive data on their mobile activity. As a result, Facebook will show them even more invasive, creepy ads and peddle your parents’ data to third parties for profit. Your mom and dad will be victims of Facebook’s next privacy scandal and data breach.
- A Crying Baby Card That Won’t Shut Up
On the surface, this looks like a sweet greeting card reminding your family of the days when you were their cuddly, angel-faced infant. Your parents will instantly feel nostalgic as they read the card, right up until they press the music button inside. Then they’ll hear a screaming baby and remember long, sleepless nights when they wanted to continuously pull out their hair. Better yet, there’s no off button! This card will play incessantly for the next three or more hours and even get louder when they try to turn it off. They won’t be able to make the crying end. Eventually they’ll lose their minds and tear your card apart. When they do, they’ll get a glitter surprise that makes a mess all over the floor. (We love you, Mom and Dad!)
- Egg Cooker
Your parents will be impressed with the apparent convenience of this handy appliance. Soon enough their entire house will stink like rotten eggs. Just wait until they hear the noise this cooker makes when the eggs are done! The melody is as shrill as an expired medical device crossed with a faulty smoke detector alarm. It’s such an unsettling sound that your parents will yell helplessly at each other until one of them rescues the perfectly cooked eggs. At some point, your parents are likely to realize how this egg cooker crowds their kitchen counter without adding value. They can simply boil an egg in a pan on the stove.
Thoughtful Gift Ideas
Prefer to repay your parents for making your safety their top priority while raising you? If you’re more tech savvy then your parents, use the holidays to educate them on the importance of online privacy and security.
New research from AARP shows that the majority of people over 50 use technology to stay connected, but many may not know how to stay safe while doing so. Forty-one percent of people surveyed don’t trust that their data is secure online, and yet less than half of them take proactive steps to protect themselves.
- Safeguard Passwords
With so many passwords to keep track of, it’s easy to fall into the trap of using the same password for every login. Talk to your folks about the importance of using different passwords for every device and online account. Even better, set them up with a great online password manager, like 1Password, that can help them generate strong passwords, store them safely, and update them easily whenever necessary.
- Use Two-Factor Authentication
Passwords are the first line of defense to guard personal data, and two-factor authentication adds an extra element of protection. Show your parents how two-factor authorization protects their personal accounts by validating their identity twice and ensuring that they’re the only ones with access. Use an authenticator app or YubiKey for maximum security. Set it up for them on all of their devices, sensitive communication, and social networking apps.
- Encrypt Connections
One of the best things people can do to protect their online privacy is using a virtual private network. Make sure your parents know how a VPN can keep their personal information and transactions safe when they use unsecured, public WiFi hotspots. Not all VPNs are created equally, so help them pick a VPN from a reputable provider with a brand name you trust. Select a VPN with absolutely no logs and one that they pay for with a reasonable subscription.
- Share Photos Safely
If your parents love sharing photos with family and friends, they may not realize that images they post online can compromise their privacy as well as others. Talk to them about who should be allowed to see their photos and getting permission before posting photos. Show them how to adjusting privacy settings on social media. Teach them how to remove EXIF data from photos like revealing geolocation information, date and time a picture was taken, device ID, etc… Demonstrate how to prevent location data from being stored in photos taken with Android and iOS devices.You can even introduce your parents to apps like Photo Vault that keep photos private unless they’re intentionally shared with specific people.
What better way to honor Mom and Dad than by helping them stay safe online? Just like they taught you to buckle your seatbelt and be wary of strangers, you can return the favor with your privacy wisdom. Give your parents peace of mind as they navigate their online life!